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I will be arriving in Dublin 26 September 2023, going to Balbriggan to search for information on my ancestors. My great-grandmother, Ellen Cosgrove,[Balbriggan] married my great-grandfather in Manchester UK in 1882. Ellen's sister, Julia, was the witness to the marriage I believe Ellen's mother's birth name was Dowdall/Dowdell. I saw on another site that the Cosgrove's were cabinet makers [I think in Balbriggan] who also had a cabinet making business in the UK.

Would anyone have information on the Cosgroves? Also would there be a volunteer who might meet with me to help me search records to further my research?

I'd appreciate any help available. Mairéad Caveney, Canada

A picture of Ellen is posted under my "Ancestors" on this site.



Wednesday 31st May 2023, 02:09AM

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  • If you have not done so already, please complete this form regarding your trip to Ireland

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 31st May 2023, 02:55PM
  • I've had an initial look into this family and believe I've located some details on your Cosgrave/Dowdall family, see outline below - I will continue searching to see if I can locate anything further. Let me know if this fits with the details you have already, or you would like further details on these records.

    Parents Thomas Cosgrave & Margaret Dowdall married in Balbriggan (Balrothery and Balscadden) RC parish north County Dublin on the 7th February 1841. The witnesses to the marriage were a William Dowdall and Mary Bissett.

    The couple had several children baptised in Dublin city parishes, all North City - earliest in 1843 in St. Michan's RC, name of the child is unreadable, next two are John in 1844,and William in 1846 both in St. Paul's RC.

    The family move to Liverpool where it seems Ellen and an older brother are born - a probable match for her appears on the births index as Cosgrove registered first quarter 1857 in Liverpool, also a possible brother Thomas William registered first quarter 1855 in Liverpool

    The family then appear to move back to Dublin for the late 1850s/early 1860s where Julia is baptised in St. Michan's in 1859, and Mary Teresa is baptised in 1861, also St. Michan's RC.

    This Cosgrave(Cosgrove)/Dowdall family appear on several census returns in Lancashire, e.g. in 1871 Thomas and Margaret along with children Thomas, Catherine, Ellen, Julia, Teresa and Sarah - Thomas is shown as 'Chair Maker', the parents, Julia & Terese are shown as born 'Ireland' most of the rest as born Liverpool. with Sarah born Manchester. In 1881 Thomas is shown as Chairmaker/Cabintetmaker - Ellen appears to be living away from the family as there's no sign of her at home.


    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 31st May 2023, 07:29PM
  • Hello Mrs Murphy, I have been looking for Ellen's birth to no avail, however I did find that a Thomas Cosgrave married a Margaret Dowdall in Balbriggan on 7th Feb. 1841. I searched for children to this couple and found two, a John born 1844 in St Pauls, Arran Quay in Dublin as was the other child in 1845 but not name transcribed other than what looks like III, oddly I could not find any more info on the subscription site Roots Ireland nor anything on the free site Irish Genealogy under church records and Dublin nor is it possible to read the actual register online on another free site, both these sites are Government funded so odd, you can see the registers in the National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, the tram passes nearby. the sites I mention are here, you have to sign in but you will probably find nothing either, the other site is only searchable by date and the years you require cannot be selected for St Pauls. 

    I am assuming the marriage took place in Balbriggan as it was Margaret home place.

    They next turn up in St Nicholas, Liverpool, with a child in 1848 with a Catherine and in 1850 a Mary Jane, and Edward in 1852 and a William in 1854. England has civil registration from 1837 I think so you may find civil records of the births. That indicates the child in 1845 may be Ellen. There is no gender recorded. Also see there is a Gartlan witness and this name is from Louth, acounty close to Balbriggan and that boasts about 30 miles from Balbriggan a place called Dowdallshill. 

    The library in Pearse Street in Dublin, walking distance from the National Library but a long one depending on your point of view, maybe 30 minutes. The library dealing with Balbriggan is in Swords which does the archival stuff I think. 

    Will post some more info shortly


    St Peters Louth, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Wednesday 31st May 2023, 08:02PM
  • Hi Again, there are two possible births for Margaret Dowdall, baptism 27th July 1822 in Balbriggan, father Richard and mother Catherine McNally. I would be happy enough that this is her until I see a Margaret born in St Pauls, Arran Quay, Dublin also, this is where the two children mentioned previously mentioned were born, father in this case is George and mother only given as Anne. THere is another 1808 baptism in Dublin but it does not appear to suit at all as it is in the south of the county. 

    Ellen's marriage certificate should record the fathers name so you can pinpoint her from that.

    Balbriggan at the times mentioned was a large cotton mill and manufacturing place for woolens reaching a peak in the late 1800s when it supplied Queen Victoria with woolen wear.

    In Rush about 7 miles from Balbriggan there was a Julia Cosgrave born to a Robert and a Elizabeth Dodd but no Ellen found in this family but they could be cousins but a long shot. Family names may give an indication.


    St Peters Louth, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Wednesday 31st May 2023, 08:28PM
  • Hello, Shane,

    I apologize for the delay in replying. Due to an incident in my home, my files were partially destroyed. I have been searching and attempting to replace what information I had.

    Interestingly all my information has Ellen's surname as Cosgrove, including the copy of her marriage certificate. I have seen vowels/consonants interchanged in many records when searching. Do you have any record that confirms which is the correct spelling?

    I do have Ellen's birth date as January 30, 1857, and have seen both Ireland and UK as birth place. What you have found would make Liverpool the likely birthplace. You have definitely found my ancestors. Sarah's birthplace as Manchester certainly makes sense, as Ellen was living at 8 Silk Street, Manchester at the time of her marriage to my great-grandfather, Feb. 11, 1882. That would suggest why she is not living with the family on the 1881 Census. Ellen signed her name as "Cosgrove"; her father, Thomas is listed as "Cabinet Maker". There is no indication of her mother's name. The witnesses are John Burns and Julia Cosgrove.


    Hello, Pat,

    Thanks for the research you have done. Likely the second child's name that looked like "ll" was William, from what Shane has found above. Thomas Cosgrove/Cosgrave and Margaret Dowdall are definitely my great-grandmother, Ellen's parents. I have seen Margaret Dowdall's parents as Richard Dowdall and Catherine McNally, but no indication as to where they lived. Also, Margaret Dowdall was born April 1822 Balbriggan, died Dec. 20, 1890.

    Thank you both. You have definitely found my ancestors. Would it be possible to visit the library in Swords, or cemetery in Balbriggan  for any records of the Dowdalls/Cosgrave/Cosgroves? I will be flying into Dublin 26 September, ETA 5:30AM after an overnight flight from Toronto!!! I have a reservation at the Braken Court Hotel that day, so would have time both Tues. 26 and Wed. 27 before taking the bus to Co Clare that evening. Whom would I contact to assist me while in Balbriggan?



    Sunday 11th Jun 2023, 11:50PM
  • Hello, Roger,

    I have tried many times to fill out the form regarding my trip to Ireland. When required to put the name of town where I'd like to be met, it doesn't allow Roscommon or Castlerea. I now know the plot in Spring Gardens Townland where my great-grandfather is from. I realize the plots are not longer visible except in the historical maps, but I do have the coordinates. I would very much like to meet with the Delaney family who live nearby, as Brian Delaney had a forge, my g.g.grandfather was a blacksmith, and the photo of my g.grandfather I posted I believe is in front of the relics of the forge.

    Is there a way to contact a volunteer in that area?




    Thursday 10th Aug 2023, 06:43PM
  • Mairéad:

    I'm not sure why the form is not working for you. Spring Gardens is in Kiltullagh civil parish. Not sure if we have a volunteer in the area. I will alert our Administrator about your visit to Roscommon. Have a great trip!


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 10th Aug 2023, 08:32PM

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